Chapter Fourty-Seven: The Truth Revealed

The sight of the bruised and mangled body before him made Jonrah hate himself for what he'd done. Karlin would be looking away; she had not supported him during his Guard days, and would certainly not approve of his actions on this day. Jodar was the ultimate goal, but was this really worth it? Jonrah tried not to visualise Karlin's look of diapproval - an expression he had rarely seen, but one that always cut him deeply.

'Rensh. He's being taking to Rensh,' Jonrah said, ignoring the boy. He knew this from the start. He just needed to know why.

'We were on patrol in the Raggen Pass. It was maybe a day or two before ... the landslide. A man, he ... was with your boy. Gagged and ... unconscious. Heading for Rensh ... for...' He trailed off, coughing blood once more.

Jonrah was concerned as to the boy's sudden silence. Was he not sharing the information because he didn't know, or was he not sharing it because he couldn't bare to? Jonrah took into account the savageness of The Eden, and realised to his horror that it was probably the latter.

'Why is he being taken to Rensh...?' Jonrah almost didn't want to ask.

'He's already there... He's...'

'Answer my bloody question!' Jonrah lost his cool. He had never meant to shout like that. He was letting his fear of losing his son mix with his sorrow of potential defeat. Fear and sorrow obviously didn't work well together.

'The construction... They're taking...'

Jonrah unexplainably broke down into tears once more. Although he had not been blessed with more information, the intensity of the build-up was killing him slowly, similar to the way it was killing the battered mess in front of him.

Jonrah choked out his last desperate question through the blinding tears which now obscured his vision, putting a bizarre skew on everything, making the boy look even more worse-for-wear.

'They take the ... children from other ... realms. The West ... North ... sometimes the South ... and they ... use them.' The boy paused, coughed violently, no longer making the effort to spit the blood from his mouth, but simply letting it dribble down his face, dying his clothes.

Jonrah was about to speak once more, but found he could not. The boy saw this and continued.

'They use them ... for building ... the city. It's not complete ... they're slaves ... and they mine ... and they build.'

Jonrah was still crying, but as he heard this, he let out a moan, after which more tears, which Jonrah was surprised to see he still had in him, gushed from his eyes. He felt them drop against his bare arms, feeling their salty warmth against his skin.

He had been yet to use his knife. His fists were a less dangerous tool - far less likely to kill accidentally. But there was no need for the boy now. Jonrah slid his hand down his boot, withdrawing the small blade, only two or three inches long. Jonrah screamed at himself, nothing in particular, just the unintelligible cries of a man stricken by grief.

The blade felt awkward in his right hand, almost as if it didn't belong there. The boy saw it glint against the little light that came from a single torch on the wall - the only part of the room Jonrah had not rearranged.

Jonrah crawled over to the boy, feeling his tears leave a trail behind him. He watched the boy, who was not struggling - probably couldn't. Their heads met, and the blood of The Eden mixed with the tears of Jonrah as the blade pressed against the unidentified boy's throat. Lightly at first, allowing the mutilated lump to draw and savour one final breath, before Jonrah pressed with the knife, feeling the hot spray of blood soak his face, hiding his tears.

The End

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